Representations of Activism in Oakland

Tour curated by: Kelly Ortiz

The history of activism in Oakland in which the tour itself serves as the platform for rethinking the ways of its representation, reception and transgressions faced.

The fight for reclaiming space and visibility not only in Oakland's past, but the notion of activist history show the activism that is present and fluid and is still an ongoing process. By being physically present in these spaces is to be able to see the various forms of activism as well as commemorating movements of various intersections that were most likely dismissed, criminalized or undermined. This tour addresses the spatial transgressions that they were up against while also creating blatant visibility just how activism can be antagonized.

Locations for Tour

The bakery on MLK and 57th started as an informal meeting place for Black Panther Party members (such as Huey P. Newton) and eventually became the headquarters for the Party. This space was also where the newsletter was produced and was the primary…

In 1965, the Grape strike and boycott brought many Chicanos as well as members of the Black Panther Party to hold protests in Oakland’s grocery chain, Safeway in both their East and West Oakland locations. This image in particular, both parties are…

Black Mills students stage a silent protest in on March 5th 2014 in response to a racist comment left on a Mills College Confessions page. Students dressed in black held signs and stood in silence and solidarity in front of the Tea Shop for hours.…

On May 3rd 1990, students struck back against the institution’s decision to go co-ed. Hours later, students effectively shut down the college and eventually brought statewide media outlets and talk shows to cover the campus. All campus facilities…

On Monday January 18th, protesters gathered outside of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s home around five in the morning-- A famous Martin Luther King Jr. was projected along with the quote: “A riot is the language of the unheard” with the…

On the 27th of September, the Oakland Police Department received a call about a small group of Black and Latino drummers. The same resident by name of Sean McDonald took it upon himself to verbally assault the drummers and approached drummer Theo…

A major environmental as well as economical debate surrounds the City of Oakland’s opening its port for Utah coal that would eventually be exported to overseas, specifically to American-based power plants installed in parts of Asia and Latin…

This eccentric and popular shoe store off of Telegraph in downtown Oakland is much known for their trendy sneaker brand collection and the open galleries on each "First Friday" of the month. It has become a locus for art exhibits and a…

On November 24th of last year, Oakland residents responded to the grand jury decision in Ferguson by blocking off entry to the 580 freeway East and Westbound, a high volume highway that connects the East bay from Hayward to San Francisco. The…

A New York Times article deemed Oakland as a city “too late to be saved from gentrification,” and “a city that is not yet Brooklyn,” creating this image of Oakland as an undesirable and “dangerous” city. The top ten most dangerous cities…